I assume that you are reading this because you are a business manager or owner that is considering hiring a digital marketing agency. That is great for me; I am an agency owner and you are in the market to hire my firm or one like mine.
The truth is: we may not be the best choice for your particular situation. The best way to find out is to learn about one another. We would love to learn more about you and your business, at your convenience. When you are ready, feel free to set up a quick chat with us here.
Until we have the chance to talk, you can get a head start learning about us. If you want the standard biographical information, our team members, or our story, check out Our Story.
If you want to know the foundations on which our business operates then you are on the right page.
Have you ever been held hostage by a digital marketing agency? It is unpleasant. Weak digital agencies that can’t deliver results to their client businesses often resort to using coercive practices, such as limiting client control of critical digital assets and accounts to keep the client from leaving.
We hate agencies that treat their clients this way.
Bridges purposely practices radical transparency with our client businesses. While our internal processes for strategy development are proprietary, the work that we do on behalf of you belongs to you. This means that you are free to fire us without fear of having any of your critical assets or accounts being held, hostage.
Additionally, because you own and control the accounts in which we work, you are always welcome to have a third-party audit the work and/or get a second opinion on any aspect of your marketing.
We know that you will be happy with our work. We prove it by making it easy to fire us.
Our clients intuitively know how our marketing efforts are performing because they are busy managing incoming leads and selling to new clients. However, if at any time you want to take a deep dive into your marketing performance, we make it simple and easy.
Every Bridges client has their own, custom-made analytics dashboard, viaDatabox. You can access all of your key performance indicators (KPIs) in near real-time on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Bottom Line Accountability
Have you ever been in a marketing meeting, where an agency-based account manager put on a presentation with fancy charts that illustrated how great the marketing campaigns were performing? Did you ever wonder if those charts were actually measuring the metrics that matter?
Does it matter how many more page views your website has experienced; or, how much better your PPC click-through rate (CTR) is, if you aren’t seeing an increase in leads, customers, and revenue?
It doesn’t matter, which is why everything that we do for our clients is laser-focused on your business goal, which is usually measured by:
Amount of new revenue
Number of new clients
Number of sales qualified leads
The only success metrics that matter are those that put more customers in your funnel and more money to your bottom-line.
Other marketing metrics, such as website visitors, social media engagement, and CTR are fine but they are strictly informational.
They guide ongoing optimization, but they arenotthe measure of success. Our marketing team will never flash fancy charts, describing how wildly successful everything is, based on a non-success metric.
Agile Digital Paradigm
The single most powerful advantage that digital marketing offers, in comparison to traditional marketing and advertising methods and channels, is immediate data feedback. When something isn’t working, we know it quickly and it is easy to make a change. Yet, we see many marketers approach digital efforts like the inflexible paradigm to which they are accustomed.
Making full advantage of the digital medium’s power requires a paradigm shift. Digital marketing assets are not physical objects. They are not constrained by the bounds of the physical world.
For example, you are probably used to the fact that websites are planned, designed, and developed much like a house. There are blueprints and mockups. The project timeline can extend to many months. There are multiple rounds and revisions. By the time your website goes live and is available to actual visitors, you have spent tens of thousands of dollars, or (gulp!) more.
This is an excellent example of an old, inflexible web development paradigm that fails to take advantage of digital’s inherent advantages.
So, if a website shouldn’t be built like a house, then how should it be built?
First, we need to reject the website-as-a-house paradigm and start thinking about it as a businessprocess.
Your business already probably has many processes designed to meet business goals. If you are in the B2B space with outside salespeople, there is certainly a process in your sales department for managing and assigning leads. You probably have processes in place that dictate how bookkeeping functions are accomplished. When a customer has a problem, you have a customer service process to help them.
These processes were probably planned quickly. As you started using the new process, there may have been some unexpected challenges. But, this wasn’t any big deal because you adjusted and improved the process along the way.
Your company website is just like one of these processes. Think of it as a process that your potential customers take in order to become a lead for you.
Rather than spending months and tens of thousands of dollars to build a house, let’s spend a few weeks planning a new process and then improving it and refining it based on how it performs. This is known asGrowth-Driven Design, or Data-Driven Design.
By treating your company website as the process that it is, instead of a physical object, there is less risk, higher upside, and often, the overall expenditure is lower.
All of our employees get paid so they keep coming back to work and being productive.
Sales account management
Maximize new sales while avoiding unnecessary conflict among outside salespeople.
Customer service management
Ensure that all customer issues are quickly and effectively addressed so that we don’t have unnecessary churn or gain a bad reputation in the marketplace.
We attract as many new leads as possible in order to meet and exceed our growth goals.
This is just one example of how using an agile digital paradigm delivers better performance for less money.
We understand that successful business relationships are built upon candor and trust. We are honest in the sales process, in onboarding, and ongoing service delivery, even if the truth isn’t pleasant for you or us.
Speaking of honesty, the most prevalent lie among digital marketing agencies is,we are full service.
When a digital agency salesperson tells you that they are full service, proceed with caution.
In this context, this phrase, full service often means that the agency is willing totryto do anything if it will separate you from a significant portion of your marketing budget.
The truth is that no agency is truly full service. We all have core competencies in which we excel; we also have areas in which we are mediocre or downright poor.
Most agencies won’t tell you their weaknesses.
At Bridges, we love to proclaim our weaknesses loudly and frequently, because it is a good way to avoid disappointing a potential client. If we aren't great at something, then we don't offer it.
For the record, here are our weaknesses:
the low-price retail sector
affiliate online marketing
branding or pure creative agency
traditional media buying
traditional marketing such as direct mail
legacy advertising agency functions.
Where we are great:
revenue growth strategy
qualified lead generation
paid social media
conversion rate optimization
marketing content development
digital solutions for B2B and big-ticket B2C.
If what you have read here makes sense to you; and, you need the services of a digital marketing agency to help you sell your B2B or big-tickets B2C product or service, thenlet’s talk. If this resonates with you but you aren’t looking for an agency right now, then let’s connect on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Jake Fisher, a co-founder of Bridges, is a multilingual B2B entrepreneur. In 2012, Jake co-founded Bridges Strategies with Ashley Quintana, a former coworker at Tyler Media. Within two years, the partners scaled Bridges to more than one million dollars in gross revenue from a $10,000 initial investment. Combining business knowledge and insight with the comedy from his radio days, Jake regularly speaks at events sanctioned by organizations such as the American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America, and HubSpot.